Shrewsbury technology company wins award

A Shrewsbury-based technology company has won an award.

Entrepreneur Theo Millward
Entrepreneur Theo Millward

FranScape has been named as Best New Business at the UK Business Awards from Awards International.

The business, launched by entrepreneur Theo Millward, also won a silver award for Product Development.

FranScape provides technology to help digitally transform the operation of franchise networks big and small.

At the start of 2020 when the first UK lckdown struck, Theo felt his fair share of the economic pain.

Off the back of the most successful year at his company Swimtime, like the rest of leisure industry, swimming lessons for 20,000 children all over the UK stopped overnight.

“It was brutal,” Theo said. “The taps were turned off instantly, no revenue, very little meaningful support – what an earth can you do?”

Theo contacted Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski who was sympathetic but ultimately could do little, he said.

“The biggest frustration which I voiced to Daniel was the financial support. The grants and loans might sound like a lot but in reality, they didn’t touch the sides. We were burning over £15,000 a month in cash just standing still.

"We simply had to think differently to survive.”

Two weeks into lockdown Theo said the 'light bulb' moment came when he realised the technology he had developed for Swimtime could be applied to other activity providers, and FranScape was born.

“We sprang into action on this new venture starting the business from ground zero, sales, finance, operations – the lot was brand new.”

Just four weeks after launching FranScape its first client was signed. Over the coming months the business got bigger and now, 15 months on, FranScape has seen rapid growth with over 70,000 customers being serviced on behalf of a rapidly growing client base.

“This award is the icing on the cake on what has been the most incredible 12 months for my team. Against all the odds and challenges of the pandemic, FranScape has emerged as one of the most exciting and talked about innovations in franchising.

"For our success to be recognised independently means the world to me and I could not be prouder of this momentous achievement," Theo added.

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